Decorate with What You Love

Home interior
Photograph by Eric Tadsen

It was 1986 when Lauren and Michael fell in love with a 47-year-old Tudor-style home. Besides a quaint neighborhood, they were attracted to many charming details of the home, like the built-in nooks and crannies, leaded glass windows, and sprawling stone fireplace.

It was the perfect home to raise two children, three dogs, and two goldfish. Twenty-six years ago, they were referred to Brenda at Camelot Interiors to help create the atmosphere they envisioned. Since then, Brenda helped design the 1,800-square-foot home, updating some rooms four times over. “Her creativity and always-positive attitude makes decorating fun,” says Lauren. “She brings many options for us to see and choose from. It saves Michael and I a great deal of time [compared to] if we had to shop ourselves.”

The exterior has interesting slopes and textures. As you enter the arched doorway, a warm russet mosaic tile greets you in the vestibule. Maple hardwood floors continue with custom wool runners in the hall and up the staircase.

Relaxing, earthy colors were chosen to accentuate the stone fireplace and beautiful woodwork. The living room, one of their favorite spots to relax in, was designed with two conversation areas. This was accomplished by using a pair of low swivel chairs placed in the center of the room. The wall sconces create a warm glow along with the natural grass shades on the windows, which let light filter in. The screened porch off the living room is a special spot where Michael and Lauren share many relaxing summer evenings.

As a designer, Brenda believes everyone’s home should tell a story. Lauren and Michael have many family mementos, and each room brings special touches that make their house a home. Special family heirlooms shown in the living room include Michael’s father’s cane leaning against the fireplace. One Christmas it was displayed and hasn’t moved since (remember Miracle on 34th Street, when santa left his cane?). His father’s smoking pipes found a spot on the nesting tables.

Lauren’s mother’s console table is graced by an original painting of a bulldog who so resembles Chief, one of their deceased pets. Pets can make a room feel truly complete. Renowned photographer William Waldron once said, “They reflect not just our passion for domesticity, but our ability to share the spaces we love.”

The dining room brings family and friends together for warm conversation and great food. Lauren cherishes her grandmother’s dishes displayed in her grandmother’s china cabinet. She remembers how special it was to enjoy holiday meals on the fine china growing up. Now she and Michael share the same tradition with their children and grandchildren. Lauren’s grandfather made his own root beer, and the bottles are displayed in the room as well. Many original pieces of art painted by Lauren’s mother are placed carefully throughout their home.

The latest kitchen design was inspired from a trip to France. Michael and Lauren love the calming blue paint color when they prepare meals together. The ceiling has a tile-like wallpaper to give texture and interest. The built-in nook is cozy for conversation and a cup of tea. Paintings from Venice are displayed in the kitchen and dining room to remind them of their fond times in Italy.

Lauren’s den was originally a nursery in 1991 for their son, Scott. Today it’s filled with treasured items that give Lauren a sense of calmness and happiness as she unwinds from work. Her desk was passed on her from her mother, and one of a pair of wooden chairs was brought back from the Civil War by her great, great grandfather. Artwork in her den ranges from their children’s art to prints she and her parents brought back from France in 1967. The ceiling was painted an evergreen shade to accentuate the sloped lines, and the same color is repeated in the custom window treatment. Fun artsy lamps add color and a happy place to relax in.

The main bath upstairs is a small, quaint room with a sloped ceiling and a window in the shower/tub area. For privacy, we added custom leaded glass window panels. The black-and-white tiles are the original tiles. The bath has been papered and painted many times.

Michael’s favorite room is his office because “it’s me.” He cherishes a wood carving made by his father.

The family room is designed with a nautical feeling. Memories of family vacations off the coast of North Carolina and Door County are displayed as accents in this room. A bulletin board by the back door is covered with family photos and high school athletic letters from the very athletic family of four.

The master bedroom, originally belonging to their daughter, Lisa, is being redecorated for the fourth time, and as of this writing, we are still in process. Again, pieces of furniture from Lauren’s childhood will be used, as well as her mother’s original art, her jewelry box, and other special mementos. It’s the finishing touches that truly define your style.

Brenda Myers is owner and interior designer at Camelot Interiors.

Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

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Camelot Interiors
6771 University Avenue, Suite 106
Middleton, WI 53562